Step 10 and a dry drunk??

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Layne » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:37 am

I have a tendency to overthink and over analyze things. When this happens I misplace the remote control to the entertainment center that sits atop my shoulders and get stuck on a channel. Usually what is playing is a version of the movie "Groundhog Day".

If I understand... things are just as they are.
If I do not understand... things are just as they are.

Don't sweat the small stuff, it's all small stuff. Have faith. Move forward.

We are exactly where we should be.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby OnPoint » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:43 pm

Layne wrote:Usually what is playing is a version of the movie "Groundhog Day".
I didn't realize it until after I got sober, but "Groundhog Day" is the story of a spiritual journey. In fact Bill Murry's reaction in "Groundhog Day" is exactly like my reaction to my drinking problem. At first he can't believe that what is happening to him is real. Once he realizes that his life is stuck in an endless loop that he can't escape he starts to act crazy because he feels that tomorrow doesn't matter. When that gets boring he figures out ways to steal and manipulate to get what he wants. It is not until he decides to use his time to be helpful and selfless that he is able to stop experiencing the same thing over and over. That is pretty much a description of my disease and my recovery.

Incidentally, I started thinking about this after seeing an interview with the movie's director. The director was asked "how many days of being stuck in the same say does the movie represent"? The director answered 10,000 days. I divided that out and it comes to a little over 27 years. 27 years of trying every day to get it right, and failing because you just don't understand what is wrong. I can identify with that. If you get a chance to see the movie again you might want to look at it with a new perspective. If you replace "Groundhog Day" with "Alcoholism" it could be my life story.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:57 am

If you replace "Groundhog Day" with "Alcoholism" it could be my life story.


Nice. There is a 7 minute video on Eckharts take on this movie. He talks about the spiritual awakening that happens for Bill Murray.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby SoberInMI » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:01 am

Usually the simplest answer, which is often the hardest to implement, is the best. So the question about being a dry drunk answers itself, but a newcomer may not see it without help. Newcomer is defined here as a novice or non-veteran, not just a recent joiner. Dry drunks are those who are "dry", or not consuming alcohol, or only clean in NA terms, or "physically" sober, or merely not consuming mood altering substances in old school AA terms, and nothing more. But truly sober people have emotional sobriety which comes from working steps 2 through 12. I don't have a good definition for emotional sobriety but it is characterized in part by the inner peace and serenity that an alcoholic achieve and the alcoholic is no longer trying to run their own life and doing a sorry job of it, etc. Alcoholics who work the program in earnest start to realize the promises by step 10 if not earlier: “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through (step 6). We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness…”

I might suggest that a good sponsor with help greatly.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby PaigeB » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:27 am

OnPoint wrote:
Layne wrote:Usually what is playing is a version of the movie "Groundhog Day".
I didn't realize it until after I got sober, but "Groundhog Day" is the story of a spiritual journey. In fact Bill Murry's reaction in "Groundhog Day" is exactly like my reaction to my drinking problem. At first he can't believe that what is happening to him is real. Once he realizes that his life is stuck in an endless loop that he can't escape he starts to act crazy because he feels that tomorrow doesn't matter. When that gets boring he figures out ways to steal and manipulate to get what he wants. It is not until he decides to use his time to be helpful and selfless that he is able to stop experiencing the same thing over and over. That is pretty much a description of my disease and my recovery.

Incidentally, I started thinking about this after seeing an interview with the movie's director. The director was asked "how many days of being stuck in the same say does the movie represent"? The director answered 10,000 days. I divided that out and it comes to a little over 27 years. 27 years of trying every day to get it right, and failing because you just don't understand what is wrong. I can identify with that. If you get a chance to see the movie again you might want to look at it with a new perspective. If you replace "Groundhog Day" with "Alcoholism" it could be my life story.

I LOVE IT! I didn't know! AND I'll be checking out that Tolle video if I can find it - Avaneesh? Will send me a link via PM?

I love this program!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby kdub720 » Mon May 15, 2017 8:28 am

Just read this post and it is awesome. I get anxeity all the time. And I would drink to make it go away. Now I constantly rock the inventory to try to understand why I feel that way. Usually it is something dumb and I just have to start making an effort to change it or go do another activity to get my mind off of it. Thanks for the reminder. I did not realize I was doing inventory daily to reduce my anxeity. Who knew the steps work.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Roberth » Mon May 15, 2017 11:52 am

Hello Bushy, my name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles Area Alcoholic. I’m no expert but what I didn’t see anywhere in your post was gratitude. People are surprised how far a little gratitude takes them. I start my guys off early on gratitude and they don’t really even know they are doing it. For their 10th step I give them some 3 X 5 index cards and have them write down the worst thing they did that day. That gets them to review their day. I also have them write down the best thing they did as well. My daily inventory isn’t just about what’s what I did wrong, but also about what I am doing right.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby steephills » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:06 am

Bushy wrote:Thank you all for your replies, I really appreciate it.
I am 16 months in the fellowship and 8 months sober - and therein lies my answer. I think that my expectations (oh dear) have been way too high and I am letting little things get to me. I have been clinging to 'this too shall pass' and it was wearing a bit thin. I realise this is a marathon not a sprint and maybe I'm being too hard on myself. If I am genuinely doing the right thing (getting out of self and helping others) then I have to have faith that this is simply the ups and downs of life without alcohol to numb the emotions. I think I may have let my gratitude slip as well and you all have reminded me how lucky I really am.


I think I know exactly what you're going through...and I'm also having a problem with gratitude...or expressing it. Feel free to message me. :)
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Mary » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:06 am

I often don't connect with the way people talk about gratitude although I realise its fundamental importance. If a car breaks down on the motorway, are we grateful for all the good things about the car like the swish interiors or all the things that worked well in it? Do we look at the positive aspects of the car? No, what made it break down and kill people has to be looked at.

When I feel as the first poster described and I'm aware this is my projection and only talking for myself....there has usually been some dishonesty in play, usually not wilful but on a very deep level, usually just dishonest with myself about something and it gnaws away so much that all the box ticking good deeds and gratitude lists make little difference because this deep dishonesty blunts and numbs my experience of all the apparent good things. I can look at a gratitude list but feel nothing from it.

I needed help to look deep within. It's the truth that sets us free.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Blue Moon » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:17 pm

Mary wrote:If a car breaks down on the motorway, are we grateful for all the good things about the car like the swish interiors or all the things that worked well in it? Do we look at the positive aspects of the car?

We could feel grateful for the tow-truck driver coming out to help despite the pouring rain and howling winds. Or we could get angry at the tow-truck driver for not turning up within 2 minutes when we demanded it. Same tow-truck driver, but a different attitude towards them, yielding a different experience.

I'm not particularly grateful for my alcoholism. It is what it is. But I am grateful for recovery, and for the folks who were there when I walked in, at a time in life when I wouldn't have given myself a second glance.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Brock » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:56 am

I like what Mary wrote about gratitude lists, because I also find it difficult in some things to 'look at the bright side.' In AA (and generally in life), we also hear the saying 'this too will pass,' and I expect this is used when there is very little or nothing to be grateful for.

However in reading the post yesterday, I didn't at first get the idea of dead bodies either, but it does say kill people. (Edit: Mary wondered why Blue Moon didn't see that, but has since deleted that post). Maybe it's a man thing, but in speaking about cars, we never use the words “break down,” to mean an accident in which people are killed, or a car is damaged. When we see those words (which are repeated twice), our brains picture a stalled car on the shoulder of a road.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Mary » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:23 am

Yes Brock, I should have said....when a car crashes on the motorway - resulting obviously in fatalities. I am suggesting there is a fault in the car - as has happened before - manufacturers in such cases try and work out what the fault is, they don't sit about in their board room I imagine talking about the bright side - that would just be denial. Similarly in recovery I feel endless gratitude lists and so-called positive thinking is just plain denial. Do the gratitude lists but more importantly, get honest. Deal with the thing that will make you break down.

Blue Moon, in future I shall not acknowledge what I perceive to be wilful misunderstandings - just more denial.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby Mary » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:25 am

DeNile aint just a river in Egypt.
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby desypete » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:02 am

find a tramp and go and sit with them for a bit of time, if your ever feeling ungrateful or out of sorts

see how you feel after it
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Re: Step 10 and a dry drunk??

Postby ezdzit247 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:14 pm

I feel endless gratitude lists and so-called positive thinking is just plain denial.


Okay. Please clarify. What in your opinion is being denied?

Scientific research has confirmed that the practice of working daily gratitude lists triggers the production of the body's natural "happy" chemicals and effects positive changes in the brain chemistry of patients suffering from clinical depression--sometimes much faster but just as effectively as prescription anti-depressants which sometimes take many adjustments over weeks or months to finally achieve any positive changes. How is engaging in "endless gratitude lists" to correct a chemical imbalance "just plain denial"?
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